<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

Danny Duffy

The Wild Card game rosters remind you how weird the Wild Card game is


The A’s and Royals have released their rosters for tonight’s one-and-done game. And it’s pretty understandable they’re set up this way given a one-and-done situation. First the Athletics:

Now the Royals:

The A’s have are apparently going to be prepared to use a starter like Hammel as a reliever. The Royals are going to rely on Danny Duffy to be a lefty option out of the pen, apparently. If things go weird we could see, like, six or seven pitchers thrown at this bad boy from each team.

Which, again, makes sense given the stakes and the format. But, as I have come to do, I will be trying extra hard tonight to forget how un-baseballish this all is and just go with the excitement of an elimination game. Perhaps pretending that they’ve played six already and that they’re tied 3-3.

Chris Davis is playing third base in instructional league games

chris davis getty

The Orioles’ third baseman in exile is keeping prepared:

Davis would be eligible to play in a theoretical ninth Orioles playoff game and beyond. If they get that far, however, one wonders if they won’t have decided by then that, really, Kelly Johnson is a better bet.

TBS does a “Boom Goes The Dynamite” promo


You may remember Brian Collins, the Ball State University sportscaster who, back in 2005 was one of YouTube’s biggest stars thanks to a horribly awkward highlight package when he was working the anchor desk for a broadcast. The crowning moment of the infamous clip was his would-be catch phrase, “Boom goes the dynamite.”

Sadly, Collins was mocked for this, with people claiming he was nervous, not prepared or out of his depth. According to the Wikipedia page of the incident, however, Collins was a last minute fill-in for the regular sportscaster and the real problem was that the teleprompter guy messed up and Collins had to fly with no script. Either way, it led to widespread mockery and, eventually anyway, sympathy for Collins. “Boom goes the dynamite” can still be heard from time to time.

The latest appearance: Ron Darling, Cal Ripken, Gary Sheffield and Pedro Martinez doing their own “Boom goes the dynamite” promo for TBS for the postseason. While one hopes that they reached out to Collins for his blessing (or at least gave him a heads up) and don’t offer it in a mocking spirit, it’s hard not to laugh at this. I think Sheffield’s performance is the best, but they all shine.

Oh: and even if this was how they actually called games for TBS, they’d still be better than a lot of national baseball broadcasters who will remain nameless.

Chris Sale and Robin Ventura had a shouting match last Thursday

Chris Sale White Sox

I really haven’t been able to wrap my brain around the whole White Sox-Tigers sign stealing controversy from last week. Or maybe I just can’t be bothered to care. The upshot was that Chris Sale thought that the Tigers were stealing signs and there was some back and forth about it. Sale struck out ten dudes and allowed only one run in that game last Wednesday so I’m not sure what he’s on about, but whatever.

Apparently, though, Sale’s anger about it all spilled over to the next day in the form of an argument with his manager. Paul Sullivan of the Tribune reports:

Chris Sale left the White Sox clubhouse before Thursday’s game against the Royals for reasons the Sox described as “personal.”

What wasn’t known at the time was that Sale and Ventura engaged in a heated shouting match just before Sale’s exit.

Even with the story it remains a tad vague, but it would appear as though Sale was mad at Ventura for not having his back in postgame comments the day before, especially given that Tigers players and Brad Ausmus were making fun of Sale. After the shouting match Sale went home and Ventura offered some tepid criticism of the Tigers and a defense of his guy.

Sign-stealing controversies are always kind of dumb. A lot of major league hitters will tell you that they don’t even want stolen signs flashed to them by their teammates anyway. The thinking being that you don’t have a lot of time to prepare for a pitch in the first place to begin with, so why would you want to take your eyes of the pitcher for the second or two you’d need to focus on the signs being relayed to you by whoever is stealing them? Also, given how easy it is to change signs or to use deception or an indicator if you think the other team is stealing, you can’t always be sure that your guy is stealing the right signs.

Whatever. End of season frustration. Tempest in a teapot.

The Red Sox would like to talk long-term extension with Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes’ short stint in Boston this year wasn’t fantastically productive, but he did make a good impression on the Sox’ front office and now they’d like to talk extension with him:

The Red Sox are interested in negotiating a contract extension with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes during the offseason, but they aren’t exactly sure when those talks will occur.

“It is just a conversation that we will have at the right time,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on Monday. “There is no specific date we’ll plan on having that, but so far, we think the relationship is off to a good start.”

Cespedes is not as sure he wants to sign a deal or, alternatively, wait until after the final year of his contract in 2015 and test the market. His reticence makes sense, even if he loves it in Boston. Overall he hit .260/.301/.450 with 22 homers and 100 RBI this season. Which, while OK on the power side, still represents a big dip from his 2012 season in terms of OBP and which may reduce his long term value a tad. If he has a hit-lucky season in 2015 (or if he draws some more walks) would make him much, much more marketable.